On February 16th, American historian of economic thought Philip Mirowski led a seminar and a talk at Milieux. MHRC interim co-director Fenwick McKelvey invited him, explaining, “He’s brilliant, of wide appeal to any self-reflective scholars in social sciences as well as critical discussions of technology and power.”

milieux-news-mirowskiportraitThe seminar served as a preview for Mirowski’s forthcoming book The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information: The History of Information in Modern Economics. During the seminar, Mirowksi looked at how neoliberalism came to dominate the once intellectually diverse discipline of economics in the second half of the 20th century.

Mirowski offered an explanation for how information became more important than individual agents in the economy – the basic argument for free-market capitalism. He proposed a timeline for how the “market” became an independent entity that is fuelled by information and, according to neoliberals, more intelligent than us.

Dr. Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Chair of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science, and Fellow of the Reilly Center, University of Notre Dame. He is a critical historian of science and technology with an expertise in economics. He’s been particularly influential in tracing the development of post-War economics especially its formulate as a science.